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Showing She Can Stand the Heat

At the Iowa State Fair, Clinton manned a grill with former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack. (Reuters)

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived at the Iowa state fair in a motorcade, flanked by Secret Service agents, a half dozen assistants and a former governor. Her aides unfurled a yellow rope to keep back the crowds.

She was not, in short, the average visitor standing in line for pork-on-a-stick.

But Clinton did plunge into the event in full, making it one of her most hands-on appearances as a presidential candidate. And it was a mandatory performance for Clinton -- one of two New York city slickers slated to show on Wednesday -- who is the national frontrunner but is essentially tied for third place in Iowa, where the first primary voting will take place little more than four months from now.

So Clinton flipped pork patties. She gawked at a life-sized cow replica made of butter ("Oh my gosh," she said, looking through the glass encasement at the dairy wonder). She stopped at a food stand and ordered an ice-cream on a stick dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts. "You're officially at the state fair; you've got something on a stick," a man behind her in line said. Not all were so pleased to see Clinton, whose husband never campaigned in Iowa and who remains divisive as a political figure in her own right.

Christy Vilsack, the wife of the former Iowa governor and part of the Clinton entourage, spent much of the more than two-hour tour introducing the candidate to familiar voters. But when Vilsack tried to coax 87-year-old Roberta Hindman to come meet Clinton, the elderly woman snapped: "No way. She makes me sick." Another passerby loudly referred to Clinton as "the anti-Christ," and a third man argued with former Governor Tom Vilsack about whether she would become president, telling him, "I can't stand her."

But women by and large flocked to see Clinton, who was mobbed for the entire visit. There were even some moments of near spontaneity, by Clinton's standards. While she was turning pork over a sweltering grill, she joked about being able to handle the heat. Her assistant, Huma Abedin, snapped up a "special double ringer mop" at a hardware stand (special price: $20). Clinton marveled at an apple-slicing machine that then produced her a candied apple dish. At the Iowa pork producers stand, she donned a specially made apron with her name and "the other white meat" emblazoned on it. Her top Iowa strategist, veteran political operative Teresa Vilmain, practically glowed as she ate a hamburger, then a pork chop, watching her candidate become the fair's main attraction.

Jeanne Rutz, an 80-year-old caucusgoer, said she was proud to stand in the sweltering heat to meet the woman who would become the first female president. "Is there anyone else?" Rutz, who remembers her parents voting for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, said.

And Vilsack, who decided not to run for president himself, said he is seeing signs of improvement in the state, where she launched a television advertising buy last week. "People see her working for it," Vilsack said. "Her message is resonating with people." Clinton, asked whether the Iowa fair is better than the New York fair as she breezed from one stand to the next, just smiled.

--Anne E. Kornblut

By Washington Post editors  |  August 15, 2007; 4:14 PM ET
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Reporter Anne E. Kornblut makes Karl Rove proud by mouthing his talking points on Clinton and devoting a whole paragraph to finding what our dear Karl told her to to look for. Such a good pliant press girl. How about a little independent thought such as gosh, isn't this the same boy genious that said the democrats would lose in 2006 and he had the "math" to prove it? Now Rove attacks the democratic front runner in the face of polls saying she wins against all republicans. He invents a reason she will lose even thought he polls says she wins -- aha high negatives! Duh folks, she is one of the best known candidate ever to run. So our brain dead good girl reporter Anne E. Kornblut does her best to find those angry negative people and insert them in her story, however strained. Good girl Anne! Maybe some day you will be a real reporter instead of someone so obviously led about by the likes of Karl Rove and his talking points. Maybe someday you might even ignore or question the talking points fed to you. I won't hold my breath though.

Posted by: aburkett37 | August 16, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

If you are interested in purchasing one of the Double Wringer PVA Mops that Hillary Clinton Purchased at the Iowa State Fair use the contact information below:

Syndicate Sales Corporation
Newcomb Enterprise
108 Shady Oak Road
Hopkins, MN 55343
Telephone 952-932-2993
Facsimile 952-932-2852

The Double Wringer PVA Mop will also be available for purchase at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa from September 8-16, 2007.

-Jennifer Newcomb
Sales Associate with Syndicate Sales
Newcomb Enterprise

Posted by: housewares | August 16, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

She may not be tall, but she's head and shoulders above any Republican in the running.

Posted by: janmar414 | August 16, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

LOVE what Roberta and her fellow Iowans had to say about Ms. Divisive!!!

Sounds like those negative ratings are going up by the minute!!!

Posted by: gthstonesman | August 16, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Glad the ladies are responding to Hill. There do, too, here in Florida. It's our turn and we're stepping up to the plate.

Posted by: OrlandoNan | August 16, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is doing great. Hang in there and do not give up.

Posted by: jrhipkins | August 16, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton is definitely one politician who knows about pork.

Posted by: sunwolf78 | August 16, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

In comparison with mrs. Clinton Woodrow Wilson was and is the angel. So, by the way, ALL other condenders for Democratic nomination.

Posted by: aepelbaum | August 16, 2007 1:55 AM | Report abuse

I am proud to be an American when I see the way the Iowa straw poll seemed to cut through some of the hype created by the media that was in favor of the over financed candidates.

Back about 1915 or so we had a politician named Woodrow Wilson that accepted a bribe to create the Federal Reserve. They were a group of very powerful bankers and businessmen from around the world at the time. Through the monopoly of being the source of our money and by being outside of our government, or paying any taxes, they have built up a fortune that, I believe, includes owning most of the politicians of the world.

It is going to take a determined, We the People, to restore law and order in our government before we can restore law and order in our streets.

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

-Woodrow Wilson

Posted by: Stokeybob | August 15, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

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